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Encyclopedia > Norway Debate

The Norway Debate was a famous debate in the British House of Commons that took place on May 7 and May 8, 1940. Ostensibly a debate on the conduct of the Norwegian Campaign, the debate witnessed a massive outpouring of criticism and hostility towards the general conduct of the war and the government of Neville Chamberlain. In the vote at the end of the debate there was a sizable rebellion of government supporters who voted against their own government on what was considered a Motion of Confidence (though it was not worded as such).

Two days later Chamberlain resigned and was succeeded by Winston Churchill.

Notable points in the debate included:

  • Former Admiral of the Fleet and Member of Parliament for the naval town Portsmouth Sir Roger Keyes attending wearing full uniform and six rows of medals when he gave a devastating speech attacking the naval conduct of the campaign.
  • Prominent Conservative backbencher Leo Amery delivering a fierce attack on his own government, calling for its resignation and using a famous quote from Oliver Cromwell:
"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go".
He [Chamberlain] has appealed for sacrifice. The nation is prepared for every sacrifice so long as it has leadership. ... I say solemnly that the Prime Minister should give an example of sacrifice because there is nothing which can contribute more to victory in this war than that he should sacrifice the seals of office.

  Results from FactBites:
Norway - Search View - MSN Encarta (11759 words)
To the north is the Barents Sea, an arm of the Arctic Ocean; to the west is the Norwegian Sea; and to the south are the Skagerrak, a strait separating Norway from Denmark, and the North Sea.
Norway is a land of rugged, pine-topped mountain ranges, valleys gouged out by glaciers, and narrow deep-sided inlets from the sea known as fjords.
Norway is a constitutional monarchy, with a monarch as head of state and a democratically elected government.
Norway - encyclopedia article about Norway. (4184 words)
It is bordered by Norway on the west, Finland on the northeast, the Skagerrak Strait and the Kattegat Strait on the southwest, and the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia on the east.
Norway was one of the signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949 and was a founding member of the United Nations, providing its first secretary general – Trygve Lie.
Norway is bounded for its entire length by seas of the North Atlantic Ocean: the North Sea to the southwest and its large inlet the Skagerrak to the south, the Norwegian Sea to the west, and the Barents Sea to the northeast.
  More results at FactBites »



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